Wednesday, January 04, 2006

De-trimming the Tree

This morning, after the boys went to school and before Caitlin woke up, I finally took down the Christmas tree. I admit, I had been procrastinating doing this task. It wasn't so much the inconvenience, but the intese emotions wrapped up in it for me. But I bit the bullet and decided to finally just get it done. That, and Kevin's comment that if I didn't hurry it would become a Valentine tree. Smart aleck. ;)

Note to self for next year: When putting on the lights, start at the bottom, go all the way up, then back down again.

Even more important note to self for next year: When taking off the lights, do the same thing: start at the BOTTOM, go up, then back down again.

The process felt significant to me because I was taking down, alone and by myself, the tree that Kevin had been here to help put up. Not only that, but next year I would be putting it up *and* taking it down... alone and by myself. Yes, putting it up next year will involve the children--maybe we'll do something different and get a live tree. But this year, I had to do the taking-down when they were not around, because I could feel what was coming.

Anyway, half way through the process I had boxes and tissue paper everywhere, and had broken only one ornament (and not an important one, thankfully). That's when the wave hit me. I gave myself permission to mourn. To just sit down and cry, and feel all the sadness and grief and loneliness that was trapped inside. To let it come out and wash over me, and express itself fully. This is all part of the journey we are taking, and to squelch it would be to invite numbness and apathy. No, I needed to allow the emotions of it all to carry me for a little while into a place of pain and sorrow, until my sobs turned into prayers and I found the comfort and peace I needed. Then I'm reminded that I am never truly "alone and by myself."

I sometimes wish I could just have one good, long cry, and let that be the end of it. It would be nice not to have to revisit the same sorrow over and over. But that would belie the depth of the relationship, and therefore the sorrow as well. I don't want this blog to end up a morbid journal, depressing to any who happen upon it. But I also need to be true to myself, perhaps to come back for journaling to add to my scrapbooks, to pass on the true "me" to my children; to be transparent with the good and the bad; to record this journey with honesty.

Now, looking around the living room, it looks empty. That is, until Caitlin wakes up and comes downstairs...until the boys come home from school...until next year when we do it all again.

5 comments:

Rach said...

Carol, I'm so sorry "de-trimming" the tree was so emotional for you. Like you said, it's good to just let your emotions take whatever road they need in order to grieve your dh's absence. Feeling numb to it all will only cause long term problems, I'm thinking. I'm sure once Caitlyn woke up, she took your mind off things and is keeping you busy the remainder of the day. Maybe next year you can have the children make special ornaments for the one year Daddy will be gone. Then when he returns, he'll have some precious crafts that will have so much love put into them, to look at and admire. Just a thought.

judyb said...

Oh, Carol, Can I cry with you? I knew this part would come for you. Believe me I understand more than you may realize. "Through our tears we become stronger"..

And yes, we are never completely alone,,just lonely. Am right there with you in leaning on our Lord and praying the time passes quickly for you.

Love and peace to you GF. (room mom)

pam said...

I am never going to know how you feel but I can definitely feel your pain each time I read your posts like this! I wish I could make this year go by fast and get Kevin right back to you and the kids! I know this wont be your last breakdown and I send you a huge cyber hug in advance for the next one! Wish I could do more! We'll always be here for you GF!! And remember there are lots of women right there on that post with you that are feeling just like you so you all should get some sort of coffee group going so you can all cry together once in awhile!

pam said...

I am never going to know how you feel but I can definitely feel your pain each time I read your posts like this! I wish I could make this year go by fast and get Kevin right back to you and the kids! I know this wont be your last breakdown and I send you a huge cyber hug in advance for the next one! Wish I could do more! We'll always be here for you GF!! And remember there are lots of women right there on that post with you that are feeling just like you so you all should get some sort of coffee group going so you can all cry together once in awhile!

Dawn said...

Oh Carol, big hugs to you!! I remember these feelings so well. I grew up in the Navy, and then married a Navy man! Your story reminds me of the year my Mom kept a small Christmas tree up all year until my step dad could come home and see it and unwrap all his presents. My Mom said she left it up because it was my step dad's favorite time of year, but I think it also had something to do with relating to him while he was gone. I too hope that time passes quickly for you. Hugs and loves :)